The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma
A familiar result in the economic theory of the family is Becker's rotten-kid theorem. This theorem states that altruism by a family member will lead other selfish members to act efficiently from the family viewpoint. We extend Becker's one-period model to two periods and show that parental altruism can result in an inefficiency known in other contexts as the Samaritan's dilemma. Implications of this for transfer arrangements within the family and for the Ricardian equivalence theorem are drawn.
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- Becker, Gary S, 1974.
"A Theory of Social Interactions,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
- Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 151-182, July.
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